Is Victoria Falls a True Wonder of the World?

Victoria Falls, a stunning natural wonder located in Zimbabwe and Zambia, has been a topic of debate for many years. Some believe it deserves a spot among the seven natural wonders of the world, while others argue that it doesn’t quite measure up. In this article, we’ll explore the history and significance of Victoria Falls, and determine whether it deserves to be recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world.

Quick Answer:
Victoria Falls is widely considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and for good reason. Located on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the falls are a breathtaking spectacle of nature, with a width of almost 2 kilometers and a height of 108 meters. The thundering sound of the water as it plunges into the gorge below is awe-inspiring, and the mist that rises from the falls can be seen from miles away. Victoria Falls is not only a natural wonder but also an important cultural and historical site, with local communities and traditions deeply intertwined with the falls. In short, Victoria Falls is undoubtedly a true wonder of the world.

Understanding Victoria Falls

The Natural Beauty of Victoria Falls

The Roaring Sound of the Waterfall

The waterfall’s sound is a significant aspect of its natural beauty. It produces a thunderous roar that echoes through the surrounding areas, captivating visitors with its power and intensity. The sound is a result of the massive volume of water plunging over the edge of the falls, creating a deafening and awe-inspiring noise that reverberates across the Zambezi River. The roar is so loud that it can be heard from miles away, adding to the overall experience of witnessing the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The Plunge’s Majesty

Victoria Falls’ plunge is another aspect that contributes to its natural beauty. The waterfall descends into a deep, narrow gorge, creating a breathtaking sight as it plummets downward. The sheer force of the water as it crashes into the gorge below is a testament to the power of nature. The plunge’s majesty is a mesmerizing sight that leaves visitors in awe, with many describing it as one of the most beautiful natural wonders they have ever witnessed.

The Spectacular View from the Bridge

The best way to experience the natural beauty of Victoria Falls is by taking a stroll along the Knife-Edge Bridge, which spans the width of the falls. This iconic bridge offers a spectacular view of the waterfall, allowing visitors to appreciate its sheer size and scale. From the bridge, visitors can see the entire length of the falls, including the massive volume of water cascading down into the gorge below. The experience is both thrilling and humbling, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit this magnificent natural wonder.

The Significance of Victoria Falls

  • The Importance of the Victoria Falls to Zimbabwe and Zambia
    • The Victoria Falls is a major tourist attraction for both Zimbabwe and Zambia, generating significant revenue for the countries through the sale of entry tickets, hotel accommodations, and other tourist services.
    • The falls also serve as a source of hydroelectric power for both countries, providing a reliable and renewable source of energy.
    • Additionally, the Victoria Falls is a significant cultural and historical landmark for both Zimbabwe and Zambia, attracting visitors from around the world who come to learn about the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.
  • The Cultural Significance of Victoria Falls
    • The Victoria Falls holds great cultural significance for the local communities living in the vicinity of the falls.
    • For the Lozi people of Zambia, the falls are considered sacred and are believed to be the home of the “Nyami nyami,” a spirit that protects the Lozi people.
    • In Zimbabwe, the falls are revered as a place of great spiritual power and are associated with a number of local myths and legends.
  • The Impact of Victoria Falls on the Environment
    • The Victoria Falls has a significant impact on the local environment, shaping the natural landscape and supporting a diverse range of plant and animal life.
    • The falls create a microclimate, which supports a unique ecosystem of plants and animals, including a number of endangered species.
    • The mist from the falls also provides a source of moisture for the surrounding region, supporting the growth of vegetation and sustaining local wildlife.
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The Victoria Falls National Park

The Victoria Falls National Park is a protected area that surrounds the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It was established in 1934 and covers an area of 23,400 hectares. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes, and zebras, as well as a diverse range of flora.

The park is open to visitors throughout the year, and there are a number of activities available for visitors to enjoy. These include guided tours of the falls, boat cruises on the Zambezi River, and a range of adventure activities such as bungee jumping, river rafting, and gorge swinging.

In addition to these activities, the park also offers visitors the opportunity to see some of Africa’s most iconic animals in their natural habitat. This makes the Victoria Falls National Park a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

The 7 Wonders of the World

Key takeaway: Victoria Falls is a natural wonder that has significant cultural, historical, and environmental impacts on the surrounding areas. The waterfall’s sound, plunge, and majesty contribute to its natural beauty, and the Victoria Falls National Park offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. However, the criteria for being declared a wonder of the world are subjective and controversial, and Victoria Falls faces challenges such as human impact on the environment and man-made structures that affect its natural beauty. When compared to other natural wonders like Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls stands out for its size and intensity, but there are also notable differences between the two.

The Criteria for Being Declared a Wonder

The process of declaring a wonder of the world is shrouded in mystery and has been debated for centuries. However, there are some common criteria that are considered when determining whether a site should be included in the list of wonders.

  • Unicity: The site must be unique and unlike anything else in the world. This means that it cannot be replicated or duplicated in any way.
  • Majesty: The site must be awe-inspiring and capable of evoking feelings of wonder and amazement in those who see it.
  • Beauty: The site must be aesthetically pleasing and possess a natural beauty that is unparalleled.
  • Architectural or Engineering Feats: The site must demonstrate exceptional architectural or engineering prowess, whether it be through the use of materials, design, or construction techniques.
  • Significance: The site must have historical or cultural significance that is relevant to humanity as a whole.
  • Accessibility: The site must be accessible to visitors and tourists, as the wonders of the world are meant to be shared with the world.
  • Longevity: The site must have stood the test of time and remain relevant and impressive even after centuries of existence.

It is important to note that these criteria are not set in stone and may vary depending on the source and the context in which they are used. Additionally, the process of declaring a wonder of the world is often influenced by political and economic factors, making it a highly subjective and controversial topic.

Victoria Falls as a Wonder of the World

  • The Case for Victoria Falls as a Natural Wonder
    • The awe-inspiring beauty of Victoria Falls
      • The thundering sound of the water as it plunges over the edge of the falls
      • The mist that rises from the bottom of the falls, creating a rainbow in the sunlight
    • The geological significance of Victoria Falls
      • The unique rock formations that have been carved by the water over millions of years
      • The rare rock types found at the site, such as basalt and granite
  • The Case Against Victoria Falls as a Natural Wonder
    • The human impact on the environment around Victoria Falls
      • The destruction of natural habitats due to tourism and development
      • The pollution of the Zambezi River, which feeds the falls
    • The man-made structures that mar the natural beauty of Victoria Falls
      • The bridge that spans the falls, which obstructs the view of the natural wonder
      • The hotels and resorts that have been built in the area, which detract from the natural beauty of the site
  • The Chances of Victoria Falls Being Declared a Wonder of the World
    • The historical significance of Victoria Falls as a natural wonder
      • The fact that it has been visited by explorers and adventurers for centuries
      • The role it has played in the development of tourism in Africa
    • The ongoing debate about the criteria for declaring a natural wonder
      • The question of whether man-made structures should be considered in the evaluation of natural wonders
      • The debate about the sustainability of tourism in natural areas like Victoria Falls.
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The Comparison between Victoria Falls and Other Natural Wonders

Victoria Falls vs. Niagara Falls

When comparing Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls, it is important to note that both are considered among the most impressive natural wonders in the world. However, there are both similarities and differences between the two.

The Similarities between Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls

  • Both falls are located in countries with a rich history and culture. Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe and Zambia, while Niagara Falls is located on the border between the United States and Canada.
  • Both falls are considered a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.
  • Both falls have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Differences between Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls

  • Victoria Falls is significantly larger than Niagara Falls, with a width of 1,708 meters compared to Niagara’s 990 meters.
  • Victoria Falls is also taller than Niagara Falls, with a drop of 108 meters compared to Niagara’s 51 meters.
  • Victoria Falls has a more intense and thunderous sound due to the high volume of water flowing over it.
  • Victoria Falls is surrounded by a lush, green environment, while Niagara Falls is located in an urban area with a more industrial feel.

Overall, while both Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls are impressive natural wonders, they have distinct differences that make them unique in their own way.

Victoria Falls vs. Iguazu Falls

When comparing Victoria Falls and Iguazu Falls, it is important to note that both are considered among the most impressive natural wonders in the world. However, there are also notable differences between the two.

  • The Similarities between Victoria Falls and Iguazu Falls
    • Both falls are located in tropical forests and are characterized by their impressive height and volume of water.
    • Both falls are situated on the border of two countries, with Victoria Falls located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Iguazu Falls located between Brazil and Argentina.
    • Both falls offer visitors the opportunity to experience the raw power of nature and witness the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
  • The Differences between Victoria Falls and Iguazu Falls
    • Victoria Falls is considered to be wider than Iguazu Falls, with a width of 1,708 meters compared to Iguazu Falls’ width of 2,700 meters.
    • Iguazu Falls is considered to be taller than Victoria Falls, with a height of 80 meters compared to Victoria Falls’ height of 108 meters.
    • The surrounding landscape at Iguazu Falls is more rugged and wild, with steep cliffs and rocky formations, while Victoria Falls is surrounded by lush vegetation and rolling hills.

In conclusion, while both Victoria Falls and Iguazu Falls are considered natural wonders, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart from one another.

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Victoria Falls vs. Plitvice Lakes National Park

The Similarities between Victoria Falls and Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Both Victoria Falls and Plitvice Lakes National Park are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Both attractions are known for their natural beauty and unique geological features.
  • Both Victoria Falls and Plitvice Lakes National Park are popular tourist destinations, attracting visitors from around the world.

The Differences between Victoria Falls and Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Victoria Falls is a waterfall located on the Zambezi River, while Plitvice Lakes National Park is a national park in Croatia consisting of a chain of lakes and caves.
  • Victoria Falls is known for its immense size and the amount of water that flows over it, while Plitvice Lakes National Park is known for its series of interconnected lakes and cascading waterfalls.
  • Victoria Falls is a single waterfall, while Plitvice Lakes National Park is a collection of lakes and waterfalls.

FAQs

1. What is Victoria Falls?

Victoria Falls is a natural wonder located in southern Africa, along the Zambezi River. It is named after the British Queen Victoria and is known for its stunning beauty and awe-inspiring power. The falls are a stunning 1.7 km wide and drop 108 meters into the Zambezi River below.

2. Is Victoria Falls one of the 7 Wonders of the World?

Victoria Falls is not officially recognized as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. However, it is widely considered to be one of the most impressive natural wonders in the world and is often referred to as the “Smoke that Thunders.”

3. Why is Victoria Falls not considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World?

Victoria Falls is not considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World because the list of 7 Wonders was determined many years ago and Victoria Falls was not included. The 7 Wonders of the World are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colosseum, the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the Christ the Redeemer statue.

4. What makes Victoria Falls so special?

Victoria Falls is special because of its sheer size and beauty. The falls are a stunning 1.7 km wide and drop 108 meters into the Zambezi River below. The falls produce a tremendous amount of spray, which can be seen from miles away, and the sound of the water rushing over the edge of the falls is truly awe-inspiring.

5. When is the best time to visit Victoria Falls?

The best time to visit Victoria Falls is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. During this time, the water levels are lower, making it easier to see the falls and take in their beauty. However, it’s worth noting that the falls are a stunning sight at any time of year, and the lush green surroundings during the wet season are also a highlight.

6. What are some popular activities to do at Victoria Falls?

There are many popular activities to do at Victoria Falls, including taking a guided tour of the falls, white-water rafting on the Zambezi River, bungee jumping, and visiting the nearby wildlife. Visitors can also take a boat ride to the base of the falls or take a helicopter ride over the falls for a bird’s-eye view.

7. Is Victoria Falls safe to visit?

Victoria Falls is generally considered to be a safe destination for visitors. However, as with any travel destination, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Visitors should take care when exploring the falls and surrounding areas and should avoid traveling alone at night. It’s also a good idea to purchase travel insurance before visiting Victoria Falls.

I visited VICTORIA FALLS, one of the 7 WONDERS of the WORLD! | Zimbabwe Africa 2022